Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011


Jaiden Menard arrived on the 20th December at 9.36pm weighing 8lb 13oz. Sorry it took so long to come back and tell you all! Pic to follow soon

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looks like

little bean may actually be getting ready to make an appearance.
And ow, i forgot that contractions hurt this much. Still bearable, so hanging on at home for a bit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cheeky pickle

Sophia is no longer sleeping in a cot (well, actually, tonight she is, at nan's, but that's another story!). She learnt how to climb out, so we took the side off and turned the cot into a toddler bed (which is what it was designed to do).

The first week or so she was happy to stay in bed and settled well, but the last two nights she's been a pickle. Despite the fact that we shut her door last night, she somehow managed to reach up and open it (you have to pull it towards you, and the knob is high up) and escaped from the room a number 0f times. The night before last we left the stair gate open and she came all the way down with a big grin on her face. And later that night I heard a yell from Menard - he was upstairs in our bedroom, and she'd crept in and come up behind him, making him jump!

Last night she was having fun taking clothes out of her wardrobe and drawers, not to mention ripping up a book. Partly it was our fault for letting her sleep too late in the day, but still, she was a big pickle! I guess we just have to persevere with putting her back to bed with little fuss, and eventually she'll get tired of it!

Oh, and today we were upstairs at one point and I said "shall we go downstairs for lunch?" She said "no deal"! Seems she's watched too much 'Deal or no deal' with nan and grandad!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


still waiting.
Tonight is operation 'eat curry' night.
And maybe some pineapple too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Still in there!

Little bean's still in there.
Yesterday the braxton hicks kicked up a gear, but they stopped around bedtime, which was nice cos I got to have a good sleep! And so far today I haven't felt anything much.
We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The end of another era

Dearest Sophia,

This morning when I came to get you up (at 7.15am - you actually slept in, and I loved it, thank you!) I went in the bathroom first and then I was going to come in to get you, but as I left the bathroom you walked out of your bedroom and gave me the biggest grin in the world.
Yes, for the first time in your life you'd climbed out of the cot by yourself.

And as I type Daddy is busy taking the side off your cot to change it from a cot to a toddler bed. Whatever happened to my little baby girl? Oh life with is a constant "wenture" as you would say (adventure!). And I love it :D

Love Mummy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

She reminds me of me

Last night Sophia was reluctant to go to sleep. She went to bed at 7pm, but was still wide awake at 9pm. I went in at that point to re-settle here and to change her nappy - she'd called out for us, which we heard over the monitor, saying that she was wet.

I took her out of the cot and we had a cuddle. I changed her nappy and we had a chat about mummy milk and the baby, and all sorts of other randomness, and then I finally persuaded her to get back into the cot. I lay her down and her teddy bears too, but she said "no!" and sat herself back up, and sat the bears up too, next to her. She arranged the duvet carefully over them all, and proceeded to serve them "coffee and biscuits". In the end I had to leave her sitting up and hope that she'd eventually lay down and fall asleep. I think it was about half 9 when things finally went quiet over the monitor (and that was also about the same time I went to bed too!)

The whole episode reminded me of something I did when I was little. We had two big boxes under the bed, one had dressing up clothes and the other stuffed toys - bears, dolls etc. One night I decided, for reasons known only to myself, that the toys all deserved to be in bed too, why should I get to sleep with a comfy duvet and they all had to sleep in a box? I carefully took them all out and arranged them all round the edge of the bed. They took up so much space that I didn't fit anymore, and I ended up going to sleep in the toy box!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

big sister to be

My little Sophie Lou is changing so fast. Last week saw the end of "So-see", which was her version of her name Sophie. She started saying Sophie, and that was that, the end of the So-see era. It's funny, but it made me a little bit sad, she's growing up so fast.

Since her birthday she's become so much chattier. She's speaking in sentences some of the time and thinking really hard about what she says. She doesn't always get the tense right, but then who does?! She's got taller too. Every time I look at her it seems she's grown again.

She's very excited about the arrival of Little Bean. She knows that she's going to be a sister! And that the baby's in mummy's belly. She knows Little Bean will drink mummy milk. She knows the name we've chosen for Little Bean, and has been known to drop it into her general chatter and conversation. Luckily, it's only Menard and I who know what that name is, and we're the only ones who have actually noticed her saying it!

The other day I asked her if she was her dolly's mummy. She said, "No, Sophie sister!".
My word, will her world change when little bean comes home, but I think on the whole she's going to love it. Just as long as she still gets plenty of snuggles and cuddles, and there won't be a problem with that, I'm happy to get my snuggles with her while she still wants to have them.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Goals revisited

Well, we're getting down to the final few weeks now. I have either 3 weeks 2 days or 4 weeks 4 days to my due date (depending on which one you take!). Of course, little bean will most likely ignore them both, and come in his own sweet time, but still, it's good to have some rough markers to aim for!

Time to look at the goals I set myself at the end of September and see how we're getting on...

Write Christmas presents list (who we're buying for)
Buy Christmas presents (probably lots on amazon using my swagbucks money. Yay!)
Wrap and label presents and leave in an appropriate place that they won't get forgotten about!
Ok, so, most of the presents are bought. (Oi, Steve, hurry up and think of some things for your Christmas list, otherwise I'll have to come up with something myself, and you don't want my pregnancy-addled brain to be doing that! And there are some which will be photo based (Quick plug for our business - EM Photographic Services) that will be taken once little bean is here.

Wash and sort the clothes we've recently been given
Get out the clothes we already have and wash and sort them
Decide on the system for storing clothes etc in this house
Sort through Sophia's clothes and weed out what's too small. Put away/give away. Check she's got adequate winter clothing for the time being.
Look at my clothes and check I've got adequate for being pregnant as the weather gets colder. Buy some long trousers and more underwear! Including new nursing bras.
Well I've washed one load of new baby clothes, and the ones from my mum's loft are in the basket, waiting to be done next. Still not certain on the system for storing them, but I have some ideas.
I've been through Sophia's clothes and put some away to store and some to be given away. Think she's got enough clothes for the time being now.
I found a pair of trousers in my wardrobe, so that'll help me survive the cold weather.
I've got some new knickers that come up over the bump and don't drive me mad! Nursing bras will be purchased in the next week or two.

House General
Autumn deep clean to have an approximate level of clean to start off before the baby arrives!
Eat up current contents and defrost both freezers.
Buy/cook to fill up freezers with useful things.
Think the cleaning thing will be ongoing. I'll add to that cleaning the car inside and out.
I defrosted one of the freezers, still want to do the other one.
Need to cook and shop once the freezer is defrosted.

Parent's House
Go up in the loft (or send my daddy!) to locate all the baby stuff we stashed up there - including changing unit, moses basket, sling, play mats....
My parents went up and found the 0-3 month storage box of clothes, the rest is yet to come down. Actually, they also took down the cradle/moses basket we slept in when we were little, but this needs a clean and some surface repairs as well as a new mattress.

Breastfeeding pillow
Projector (Sophia's had a sad demise this week)
Bought a pillow, putting the pump purchase on hold for now. Making do with the nightlight on the baby monitor for now, though we do plan to get a new projector at some point.

Sophia's birthday
This came and went, and the cake was made (see a couple of posts back for pictures). All that had to be done was done. And I wasn't too exhausted afterwards.

Anything else I think of!
Uh, lots of other things, I'm sure, but nothing that's springing to mind this second. I'll post this and follow up with a new to-do post soon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

quick update

Life lately has been one big yawn. Not that it's been boring, but that it's been tiring. I'm reaching the end of the pregnancy now (about 6 weeks or so to go now) and I'm feeling it. Pregnant life with Miss 2 year old is more tiring than being pregnant with her! We're surviving by taking naps together when we can, and with the help of my in laws and my parents too.

I'm planning to be back soon, but if I'm not, don't worry. We're doing ok :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Yesterday Sophia discovered the lolly moulds for making lollies at home with squash or juice. Of course she recognised what they were and was asking for us to make some lollies. So she and Nana made some squash and put the lollies together and put them in the freezer.

Fast forward to this morning. I had to leave Sophia downstairs for a couple of minutes cos little bean had been bouncing on my bladder... when I came back down I started doing a few things in the kitchen, making our lunch for a picnic with some friends. I looked in the freezer for something and noticed that the lollies were missing. I thought well maybe Menard's eaten them, although how he could get through six in one evening, and where he'd put the left over moulds was confusing. So I called upstairs to him and he claimed no responsibility.

Sophia heard me talking about lollies and said "lollies!". She went over to her toy 'little tykes' kitchen and opened the cupboard she calls the fridge. Lo and behold, there were the lollies. She'd taken them out of the freezer and put them in her fridge!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Starting to count down

Ok, this is gonna be one of those list type posts that may interest you, or you may just want to pass by, but here it is all the same.

Things I want to do/buy/think about before Little Bean arrives...

Write Christmas presents list (who we're buying for)
Buy Christmas presents (probably lots on amazon using my swagbucks money. Yay!)
Wrap and label presents and leave in an appropriate place that they won't get forgotten about!

Wash and sort the clothes we've recently been given (I figure that with a toddler as well, there will be even more clothes to wash, so having more certainly wouldn't hurt, given I recall there were emergencies when we had to dry things double quick for Sophia to wear again)

Get out the clothes we already have and wash and sort them

Decide on the system for storing clothes etc in this house (last time around we had a lot of the clothes on the changing unit, given we have a climbing toddler, I'm not sure how well that will work this time around!)

Sort through Sophia's clothes and weed out what's too small. Put away/give away. Check she's got adequate winter clothing for the time being.

Look at my clothes and check I've got adequate for being pregnant as the weather gets colder. Buy some long trousers and more underwear! Including new nursing bras.

General Autumn deep clean to have an approximate level of clean to start off before the baby arrives!

Eat up current contents and defrost both freezers.

Buy/cook to fill up freezers with useful things

Parent's House
Go up in the loft (or send my daddy!) to locate all the baby stuff we stashed up there - including changing unit, moses basket, sling, play mats....

New breastpump
Breastfeeding pillow
Projector (Sophia's had a sad demise this week)

Sophia's birthday
Design cake
Make cake
Buy other food
Buy birthday present
Have party
Collapse in big heap!
Anything else I think of!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pitiful Potato Crop

I dug up my second crop of potatoes and got a pitiful amount! (So pitiful, in fact, that it didn't seem worth taking a photo unless I added some more of our homegrown carrots to the scene!)

I think the problem was that although I had banked them up, I'd left it too long to get round to doing that, and the potatoes were all only in that initial amount of soil. It's a good job both my parents and in laws have grown potatoes this year, so there are bound to be a few more coming our way!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick catch up

Today is one of those chill out sorts of days. I'm hoping for a nap this afternoon, although of course that requires Sophia taking one too! (or me taking her round to see Nan and Grandad)

Little bean's kicking away like anything at the moment. Think he's having a good day. We had to do the glucose tolerance test yesterday. Sophia stayed overnight with Nana and Grandad so that I didn't have to worry about getting her up early and getting us both ready and me to the hospital for 8.30am. I quite enjoyed just sitting reading for two hours, although I'm not sure I'm want to do that everyday! I'm seeing the midwife on Thursday, so should get the results then.

I had a telling off from Sophia this morning! I had put my feet up or her chair. She came over and pushed them off and then put on her sternest face, wiggled her finger at me and said "Leave it!". That's me told then.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homegrown carrots

I put these ones in a stir-fry for dinner last night. They are a miniature type, but they've turned out pretty well, I think! There are more in the garden, I just pulled up what we needed

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I might have been in here more often this week, but for the fact that for 3 of the last 4 days Sophia and I have both napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon! Yep, I've decided, or maybe my body has, that it's got to that point of this pregnancy where naps are totally the way forward, especially while Sophia's still a willing participant in that plan.

So I think for the next week the plan will be as follows - by all means schedule to our hearts content for morning activities, but afternoons need to be sacred nap time! Well at least half the week anyway!

Things are moving along around here. Little bean's kicking like crazy, and oh yes, that's a bump for sure now! Sophia's getting so chatty now, although I don't always understand all the words she uses. And on that note I'm going to end this post cos she's come to try and help me type...!

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Sophia's sat over the other side of the room, in her hands she has an open instruction manual she found in a box, and she's "sing-sing", or singing, as we would say.

"window, door, round and round, all day long.... sing sing, mummies, daddies, So-sees bounces, all day long"

I love listening to her singing, and hearing the oddments of all the different songs we sing together coming out again as she makes sense of them, and just enjoys the sound of her own voice!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today's been pretty productive. I was inspired by 31 days to clean - Having a Martha house, the Mary way's September challenge to get started in my kitchen (although I actually haven't done the challenge of cleaning out my fridge and freezer, but I have done lots of other things. I know it's not yet September, so it's ok, but I figured best to start while I'm motivated!)

Anyway, I've made an approximation of this pumpkin and sweetcorn risotto recipe, which I'm sure I've linked to before. Only this batch had butternut squash and carrot, and chickpeas instead of sweetcorn, and Red Leicester cheese instead of mozzarella. I've also assembled a potato and leek 'thing' (technical term there) which in a while will have warm milk poured over it, and be popped into the oven along with pork chops for dinner.

I did a mammoth batch of washing up, cut up and froze some apples and rhubarb from my in laws, picked up and tidied up the ground floor of the house, and also done various things online. Seems pretty productive to me :) Oh, and a second load of washing is in the machine too. Now I feel about ready to collapse in a heap. I reckon that'd be allowed though, don't you think?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pies all over the place

I made chicken pie this week too. Super simple, just a crust on top, not a base as well, like the fruit one had.

Inside I made a packet up powder chicken soup up with half the amount of liquid suggested in the instructions (that way you get a lovely thick sauce).

Meanwhile I sauteed some leeks and cut up some leftover roast chicken into small pieces. I mixed the chicken and leek into the soup sauce and heated through (my chicken was frozen).

I poured the mixture into my pie dish and popped the crust on top, cooked in a hot oven (about gas mark 7/22oC/??F!) for about 18 minutes. (I know that's precise, I'd have left it for twenty, but Soph had a melt down and needed some attention, so I took the pie out then, rather than leaving it in and letting it burn!)

Next up, once I've bought some sausagemeat, is sausage pie! Also, I have photos of the apple and blackberry pie somewhere on the computer, so I'll share them once I've found them!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I venture into making pie

I've never made pie by myself before. Probably partly to do with the fact that my dad is a celiac and has to have a gluten-free diet, hence eating pastry doesn't necessary come at the top of the priority list, even though we did made a lot of other stuff from scratch including cakes, bread and biscuits for him.

Anyway, I know other people make pies all the time, and I read a post on 'The Path to Frugality' which spurred me on to deciding it was time to conquer pies.

So today, I made pie. It was apple and blackberry. I think that ideally I would have had more pastry, as what I did have turned out a bit thin. I also have a feeling that filling will be a bit runny. And I'm not convinced that I cooked it quite long enough. But I made pie! All I have to do now is summon up the courage to cut into it and eat some!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I may say that too much...

I think we say "aren't you lucky to have a biscuit/juice (rather than water)/a treat?" to Sophia quite a lot, I've realised.

The other day when we were packing up to come home from holiday she found the box of food with a packet of crackers sticking up. She pointed to them and asked for "biscuit?". When I told her no she added "lucky?"!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Holiday fun

We've had a lovely week in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales. Obviously it's been difficult hearing about events back home, but I think we've managed to relax and enjoy ourselves. The weather hasn't been great, but who says that a walk on the beach in high winds isn't as fun as going on the beach in the boiling hot sun?!

Sophia's discovered the enjoyment of ice creams and of throwing pebbles into the sea, not to mention picking up stones and pebbles to take home with her (we've tried to limit her, and I reckon the majority of the stones won't make it back to London!). She's also done a lot of walking, given that she's only 22 months. The only problem sometimes is convincing her she needs to have her hand held, or let us at least hold on to the reins. One of her favourite words has got to be "naughty", which she uses to express her dislike of us doing something like holding onto her reins!

Photos to follow once we're home.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oops I did it again

Guess what I've gone and done, guys?!

We went and drove to the other end of the town we're staying in, to near the harbour, and were going to go down on the beach. I got out of the drivers seat and walked towards the boot (trunk) of the car, and somehow turned my ankle over and now I'm sat at home with ice on it, barely able to hobble to the loo and back when i need to go!

I'm hoping that ice and rest today will allow me to be able to drive tomorrow. We've got to drive about 3 hours tomorrow to my grandma's house where we're staying over to break the journey, as we did on the way here too. It's my left ankle, so i need that foot for the clutch to change gears! We've really got to leave here tomorrow and get to my grandma's, but if that does it in, we would have the option to stay on there another day or two if need be. Problem is it's only me and my mum who drive, and we have two cars, so we both have to drive! So please pray that i can get it to a position that it's possible for me to drive tomorrow.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Pray for London

There are ongoing riots and looting all over London and other areas of the UK. Loads more details all over the internet. The most important detail I want to say is please pray. Pray for London, pray for peace, pray for an end to this senseless violence, pray for unity.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Enjoying the sunny weather

Danielle says that in a week or two we can pick her pears. I'm very excited :)

I've been getting lots of washing done while the weather's actually been warm!

Not much else to report. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The joy of siblings

Earlier Sophia was cuddling up to me as she gradually woke up from her afternoon nap (It's confusing when you wake up somewhere different to where you were when you went to sleep!). Little bean decided he was unimpressed and decided to kick her as hard as he could.
Clearly sibling rivalry starts early!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Funny things Soph says

This morning I finally realised why Sophia insists on carrying her sleeping bag about with her when we take it off her - She's trying to be like Iggle Piggle from In the Night Garden who always carries around his blanket!

Earlier Sophia was sat on the floor playing with her toes and saying what I thought was "mucky". Then I realised she was saying "market" and was doing the little piggies game on herself. Vey cute.

Friday, July 29, 2011

'Free food'

I love this time of year. So many crops are about ready to be harvested. Last week I brought home a box of blackberries we picked in my mum's garden, and on Wednesday I made some of them into blackberry muffins (using a blueberry muffin recipe and swapping out the fruit for blackberries).

Pretty much every time we go to my in laws' house we come home with a bag of bits and pieces from their allotment. We've had potaotes and onion and some rhubard too this week. I'm deciding whether to stew that or make crumble. I think Menard likes it just stewed, so we'll do that. I've already promised my Mother in Law that when I get around to making apple and blackberry crumble I will take some around to her!

My friend Danielle has a pear tree and an apple tree in her garden. She was telling me the other day that she thinks they'll be ready to pick soon, and was I too pregnant to be her picking helper? I said of course not! Though of course if I do go to help I'll be sensible and take care. I know my grandma has an apple tree too, and we usually end up helping her use some of those. Yummy!

I've still got carrots and potatoes growing in tubs out in the garden, and a tomato plant from Danielle, though I'm not sure if that'll fruit this year or not. That reminds me though, my mum's tomaotes and beans are doing well!

Don't you just love growing your own food or having the chance to share other people's homegrown delights?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sophia at nearly 22 months

Apart from all the current pregnancy symptoms I'm experiencing which can make life a bit miserable, I'm really loving this stage of being a mummy.

Sophia is getting more and more of an independent proper person every day. She's already got more words than I can count off the top of my head (recent new ones include cupboard and shut) and you can almost have a proper conversation with her. She doesn't exactly do sentences, but she has an increasing repertoire of blended phrases including "eretis" = here it is, "m'out" = come out (or her cot/car seat/buggy).

She's also got definite likes and dislikes. "Pakka!" (In the Night Garden) has to be mentioned at this point. I'm not afraid to admit that at certain times of the name Pakka can be used as an incentive (read bribery!) to help persuade her to do certain things (like leave daddy to sleep and go downstairs with mummy to watch Pakka, or not throw a temper tantrum in the last half hour before bed as we snuggle up together watch Pakka).

I can hardly believe that that tiny little thing who didn't do much at all has turned into this being with thoughts, words and opinions of her own! I can't wait to see how she reacts to a new baby sibling. (Currently we talk a lot about the baby in mummy's belly, and if you ask her where the baby is, she'll tap her own belly!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I know I've mentioned it before, but I really want to tell you again about swagbucks. Feel free to ignore me, but I think you'd be missing out!

First off I'll start by saying that if you follow any of the links to swagbucks in this post you would be following a referral link, and I would benefit because I would earn the same points that you earn by searching the web, up to a limit of 1000. Anyway, having got that out the way, let me begin...

I love swagbucks :) I'm by no means an avid do all the stuff that's available on the site type of swagger, but what I do try to do is get on every day and search the web using the swag toolbar or from the swagbucks main site. I use the search tool instead of using another search engine like google or yahoo, and I also tend to type into it the names of sites I use all the time, like facebook, rather than just follow a bookmarked link.

By no means will you earn swagbucks for every search that you do, but I find that going online a couple of times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, I will generally earn swagbucks on a least one search every session. Sometimes it's more and sometimes the bucks are elusive, that that's a good general rule to go by!

I also complete the daily poll every day, look at trusted surveys and click through the NOSO (no obligation special offers) every day. Each of these things earns me one (or two for the NOSO) buck, as will having the swagbucks toolbar installed. Little things that earn me five bucks a day, go on every day for a week and that's 35. It all adds up!

So what can I do with my swagbucks? I save mine up and when I have 849 I exchange them for a £5 amazon gift card. Now yes, that does sound a lot, and at the start it'll probably take a month maybe more to earn that many. But I still think it's worthwhile. Once you get your amazon gift code you can apply it to your amazon account and have it sitting there ready for when you want to spend it. Since we have a new arrival coming in early December I'm aware that online shopping will probably be the way to go this Christmas. Consequently I've made the decision to save all my amazon money for Christmas shopping. I've got about £25 sat there already, and hope to have a bit more by the time I'm ready to spend it.

For the UK swagbuck user it seems to me that the best use of swagbucks is to redeem them for amazon gift cards. If you're in the USA or Canada there are options for gift cards at a number of different stores, though I've still noticed that a lot of bloggers talk about using them for amazon cards.

I had some other things to say, but this post is pretty long already. Basically, I think what I'm trying to say is that if you're the type of person that's fairly happy on the computer and uses it on a fairly regular basis, then it's very easy to fit swagbucks into your life. If my mum can do it then I'm sure you can too! Obviously, if you use one of my links, I will benefit, but that's not the main reason I'm telling you about them. Mostly it's just cos I know we could all do with a bit of 'free' money right now, and the chance to start saving up for something like Christmas expenses now seems too good to pass up!

Scan tomorrow

Tomorrow I have my twenty (ish) week scan. (I say ish cos I think it's twenty one and a bit, but it's all relative. Little Bean will come when he's ready!)

We are hoping that little bean will behave and we'll be able to see what we're having - meaning boy or girl, rather than dog/cat/human/alien. Although we're hoping to find out, and we'll almost certainly tell a few people, we're not planning to make it generally known, at any rate, we're not planning to broadcast it online. In which case I hope you'll excuse me if I continue to refer to little bean as 'he'. That just seems natural somehow, and whatever news we hear tomorrow, little bean will henceforth be known as a boy online until he or she makes an official appearance in December.

Hope that all makes sense!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Status update

I was told the other day that I ought to have a blog. "That's handy", I said, because I do have one! The conversation referred to my crazy facebook status reports, so for those of you not on facebook, or who don't have the delight of being my friend, here are a few that offer an insight into my life, or my brain, or something...

"Someone remind me to buy heartburn stuff, cos little bean is having a field day with my insides

"Prayers please-being overweight, pregnant and having a toddler is not being kind to my lower back,and I'm not totally sure what to do about it

"Our little Houdini keeps taking off her sleeping bag. Think it's time for another solution to the sleep cover issue"

""Knuckle mikle?" (let's snuggle in bed and have some milk mummy?)"

"Imagine if we all got undressed and hung our trousers outside the front door when we got home like the tombliboos do"

"Sophia is watching Finding Nemo with daddy and nan. She was totally hooked "fishies! water!""

"Little bean is kicking like crazy this afternoon"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Big sister to be/Mum in the making

Dear Sophia,

I love watching you play with your dolly or your teddy bears (known as 'bear' and not 'teddy' in case anyone was wondering). You carry bear around on your hip, in the position well known by all mummies.

The care and attention you show them is beautiful. You carefully tuck them into bed "sleep!" "night night!". And for at least half a second you lie peacefully next to them, before jumping up to fetch something or read a book or rearrange bear's blanket. That is a pattern I remember well from when you were tiny and I only had a limited amount of time while you slept to feed myself or wee or even take a nap myself.

I know that you will be a fantastic helper with changing little bean's nappies. You may run away or shout "no!" when faced with the prospect of having your nappy changed, but given the opportunity to change bear's nappy and you'll jump at the chance. The other night I watched you carefully wiping bear's bottom with the sock puppet Danielle made with you/for you at teeny tots ages ago. Then you arranged it like a nappy, before starting all over again. You were chatting away to bear, saying over and over "am'appy" (I'm happy). And you were, ever so ever so happy.

I think the least said about the sudocrem incident the other day the better. However, I know you were just trying to stop bear feeling "sore".

You're also great at entertaining your babies. Many a time I've found you snuggled up together as you read them stories and point out interesting pictures, especially in the 'Pakka' books. I think bear likes them as much as you do.

I can't wait for little bean to arrive and to see the two of you growing up together. I know that you're going to be a fantastic big sister, and maybe one day you'll be a mummy too.

love Mummy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Footballer in the making?

Little bean has been kicking me like crazy this afternoon. This morning he* kicked his sister when she sat on my lap. I can see that there will be plenty more arguments over lap space as the bump gets bigger.
("Lap?" and "ank oo" are recent additions to Sophia's vocabulary. Lap? is a question cos she's asking if she can come up on mine or daddy's lap, usually when we're sat at the table eating dinner. Ank oo is clearly 'thank you')

*'He' because this pregnancy is so different to when I was pregnant with Sophia that surely this one is a boy?!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

extending her personal dictionary

Sophia's got sooooo many words now. Everyday she comes out with a new word that surprises
Some of her latest words include
mama fik (fix) it

I need to make a list as she says them one day, cos I've already forgotten half the words she used today!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

She loves me!

I get to listen to this cheeky monkey chatting all day long...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


On Saturday we dug up the potatoes and ate them (yum!). Today I picked my peas and broad beans and we ate them (also yum!). Neither crop may have been large, but I have a lot of pride in them all the same. I've taken photos, but since my camera is dead they're on my phone, so I need to work out how best to get them from that to the laptop.
So in this post I'll just have to describe the crop to you and you can use your imagination!
Potatoes - 12 pea sized, 12 grape sized, 5 ping-pong ball size, 3 golf ball size and one tennis ball size (total 33, which fed myself, Menard and Danielle for dinner with salad - inc homegrown lettuce, and sausages, and then one more serving which I ate for breakfast the next day).
Peas - 4 pods, which yielded 22 peas
Broad beans - 6 pods (is that what you call the casings?) which yielded 17 beans (2 of them were pretty tiny). We also discovered that you can eat the casings, if they're fresh, which they certainly are, so we cut them up and boiled them with the beans and peas too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little bean update

Pretty sure I felt little bean move for the first time today. Very excited :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shoppping lists

My freezer is getting emptier, my cupboards are a little less full and a little more random in their content, I think it's time to write a 'money no object' shopping list. By that I mean it's time to stock up on those things which have been in the back of my mind for weeks, maybe even months, but that haven't been purchased because they're not a priority - for example mixed herbs. I ran out of those a while ago, but instead of using those I've been throwing in a mix of thyme, basil and oregano cos I did still have those, now, however, the thyme is running out and the oregano is getting low, maybe I ought to just shell out and get some mixed herbs.
I'm not saying I'm going to go crazy in the supermarket, although sometimes, for me, I think going crazy is when I have say under five pounds left in my week's budget and I go round the whole store figuring out to the penny what I'm going to buy with it! I'm saying it might be time to buy some meat, even if it's not reduced, stock up my herb supply, and maybe even purchase a few things that would make menu planning out of my current stock cupboards a whole lot easier.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gardening is Delicious!

One of the things that I'm really enjoying about living in a house with our own garden (rather than a flat in a block, with no garden area at all) is that I get to grow stuff.
(I know I've mentioned in the past how exciting it is to be able to dry my washing out on the line, so I won't bother to mention that again!)

Anyway, growing stuff, very cool! I'm not talking about any of your boring common or garden flowers, nope, I'm talking edible stuff all the way. So far I've got potatoes, flat leaf parsley, basil, lettuce/salad (I've got a couple of containers, one with little gem lettuce and the other with a mixture of different salad leaves, including rocket) and I've also got what started off as 'mystery veg' - I bought a box from a charity shop which basically promised that if you buried that, box and all in the garden, you'd get a variety of different stuff as a result. I think I thought that for a quid or two it was worth a shot. A few months on and I've got three bean plants (not sure what sort of beans though, possibly broad bean? I must pick one and take a look inside!) and a pea plant. Now I'm not expecting a large crop from these, but eating anything that you've grown yourself is exciting.

And I've certainly not spent a lot of money on my garden. The containers are all either troughs or buckets with the owner of the house had left in the garden. The mystery plants cost a couple of ponds max (I can't really remember), I got some of the salad seeds free from a tv series last year which encouraged folk to grow their own stuff (you could email and request a pack of seeds, which I did), and the little gems came from the 99p store. The potatoes were my mum's which had started sprouting in the cupboard so she said I could have them. The basil and parsley were seed packets which we received as part of a wedding present (over two years ago) and despite being out of date, have grown well!

I know it's maybe getting a bit late in the season for some of you to plant things, but I definitely encourage you to give it a go - next year if you think it's too late for this year (although actually, a bit of googling or swagging would probably show you that there's something you could plant today!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

hello, it's me

Hey lovelies, it's me!
I'm now somewhere between almost 16 and 14 weeks pregnant (depending on if you believe dates or scan). I'm not actually being sick much now, but I'm still feeling pretty sick and tired most of the time, and my bladder still seems to be doing that first trimester thing of needing to be emptied all the time! Due date early December - possibly the 4th or the 13th, or something inbetween!
Sophia is getting so big and boy is she chatty! Almost every day she uses words that I never even knew she knew! Some of her latest include "towel" "bork-it" (broken) "mouse" "f-lore" (floor). Every so often I consider making a list of all the words she uses in the day, but I haven't got around to doing it yet!
Uh, what else? Life is mostly ticking along. I'll try to be back again soon.

(I tried to post this last week as dated, but for some reason I couldn't get it to publish from my computer, so I've put it up from my mum's instead on the 21st, sorry for any confusion!)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's me!

Hello little blog, this is me and my new laptop reporting for duty.That is a pretty bad photo, but it will do to show that I am indeed truly here. Hurrah!

Problem is, all the searching it just took to work out where the webcam saves photos means that I've forgotten much of what I was going to say in this post.

Oh, I remember, I was going to tell you that the morning sickness is much improved. It's mostly back to nausea rather than actual throwing up, and I even managed to take a shower this morning and not be sick straight afterwards - something my body seemed addicted to doing for the last couple of weeks. I was beginning to think the best option might be to stop showering, although those around me might not agree.

Things are generally pootling along. Little bean is growing nicely, or so the books tell me. Sophia's learning new and exciting words every day and also some odd ones. One of her current favourite phrases is "eat-it!" and is addressed to dogs, other animals and earlier to daddy. Strange child.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

swimming not drowning

Sorry folks, I said I would be around, and I haven't.
My Grandma passed away on the first and dealing with that, twinned with morning sickness, has meant that the blog's been low priority. I'll be around when I can. Thanks for still checking in!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunny Monday

I've had a lovely day today. This morning we went for our traditional Monday morning walk at a local park/country estate with my mum and the guy who runs the walks and treats us to random historical titbits, and a family who are also know from my church small group. The weather was sunny and the temperature bearable, especially since lots of the walking is done in and amongst the trees. Oh, and of course Sophia came too.

This afternoon Sophia and I met up with a Mum who I first met at antenatal classes and her son who's only 5 or 6 weeks younger than Sophia. We went to another big park, this one had the added bonus of an animal sanctuary with ducks, chickens, pigs, goats and sheep and ponies, among other things. The kiddos loved it and we could have spent the whole day there. There were also picnic tables and a playground area, so they did lots of running around, meaning that hopefully, after all that fresh air, Sophia and I will both sleep like logs today.

The best part about the day? It was all free, or very reasonably priced. The sanctuary only cost £2 for adults (under threes were free) and that included entry to far more than we actually saw. I like a good bargain.

(I promise I won't continually talk about our business, cos this blog was invented for me to talk about my life, but since my life now involves our business, then I think I'm entitled to talk about it every once in a while! Besides, I do need to talk more at some point about all the other things we can do.)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Here we go again

Dear lovely readers, I think I might actually be BACK!
We have broadband. Ok, so the teeny tiny problem we still have is that this laptop is pretty much busted, but I'm hoping that it'll allow me to pop my head in here more often than once in a blue moon.

I have lots and lots of things to tell you all, but the first thing I'd like to do is to tell you about the business that Menard and I have set up along with another couple. (Actually, maybe I should say they set up with us, as they have the talent and Menard and I have the shouty-ness for telling people about it!)

It's called EM Photographic Services and we do lots of things! If you can't wait to find out all of them, then follow the link and take a look at the website, in the meantime I will focus on canvas art.

Now, it's a known fact that everyone either has a piece of Ikea art up on their wall, or knows someone who does! We are the antidote to mass produced artwork. We use quality photographs taken by one of our own team, David Evans, and print them onto high quality paper to produce beautiful artwork.

Of course, at this point someone may say "what if your business grows big too? Won't it still be mass produced artwork?". I have a couple of answers to that; firstly, even if lots of folk ended up choosing the same photo for their wall, each canvas will still have been created the highest quality we can achieve, and by a small team of workers, not a giant big corporation. Secondly, and I will cover this in more detail at some point, you can choose to have us put YOUR artwork on canvas, and then you really will have a one of a kind piece of art.

I feel like I got a bit lost on a wiggle there, so let me come back to my original thoughts and reason for this post... We need your help! (and I don't just mean to buy our stuff, although that would be great if that's your cup of tea).

We've put together a selection of photos which David has taken and worked on, and which we believe might make good wall art. However, there are only four of us and we're probably pretty biased, so I would love it if you guys, my lovely readers, could give us your thoughts too.

Now I'm hoping that this link from David will work, or if you are on facebook you can follow these instructions.

Search on facebook for 'emphotographic' or 'emphotographic services'.
Like us if you like!
Look at the wall and check out our 'Available Artwork' album.
Leave some thoughts, either there, or back here.
Enjoy the rest of your day

We would like to know if any particular photos stand out to you. What's your favourite? What would you definitely not want to see on your wall? Anything else?

Thank you my lovelies :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

quick hello

Oh dear wonderful readers, assuming that anyone is actually still around to be reading, I so want to be blogging, but our broadband won't be set up until the 3rd May and internet is tricky until then.
We're settled into our new place, in fact feels like we've been there for ages, which is good. A few other bits and pieces going on, but you'll hear about them in due course.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bag update

Well I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but we are moving this weekend. Hence, a lot of sorting and cleaning out and packing is going on, and I've also lost count of how many bags we've got rid of!

However, I know we've thrown out at least 5 bags of rubbish, as well as maybe 3 or 4 to the charity shop and 2 more passing things on to folk who will use them. I think I'm gonna stop counting and just concentrate on getting rid of stuff as and when the moments arrive, and do our best to not pack junk to take to the new place!

I'll be back again soon. Hopefully, if I don't get lost in the boxes!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Less is more

Yesterday with Sophia's help (she tore up some old magazines!) we filled a bag with paper to recycle so that was bag 3.

Bag 4 was filled today with 15 or so books to take to the charity shop. These were actually books from my old bedroom in my parent's house, but since it's my stuff and it needs reducing, I figure it counts! I came out of the charity shop with one new book which I'm looking forward to flicking through and possibly sharing with my friend Danielle - it's by money saving expert Martin Lewis.

Sophia's had a great afternoon. Now we live in a ground floor flat so she doesn't get to do stairs on a regular basis, but this afternoon at my parent's house she did lots of practising, both up and some down (trying out a few techniques, including sliding down on her bottom!)

And who can resist requests such as "bit-dit bease mama?" (Let's see if anyone can try to translate that!)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Ok so, my blog needs some loving, my house needs de-cluttering.
Looks like 40 bags in 40 days is a match made in heaven.
Let's do this!

I found this challenge on Owlhaven, and clicked over to Clover Lane

Now I'm gonna cheat a teeny tiny bit, cos I actually did a bunch of clearing out on Monday and have already got rid of two bags of stuff.
Bag one went to a charity shop and was books and a few items of toddler clothing.

Bag two went yesterday and it was books and magazines - I returned some books to their owner, gave away a duplicate book of Sophia's to her little friend J and took some magazines in to our doctors surgery.

Here's to bag three (or more) today

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thinking thoughts

the page is blank and empty, waiting to fill up with text

the thoughts don't come right away,

they linger in the mind

and on the fingertips

waiting to be uttered,

pondering, thinking, wondering

what next?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Milk for Sophie

Hm, baby looks thirsty

This is tricky, how does Mummy manage?

Ah, here we go, milk for baby

Friday, February 11, 2011

As requested

Eating lunch is such hard work

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

today thus far

Yesterday I popped into Morrisons after an afternoon of bits and pieces, including visiting auntie Yvonne (my sister in law, and Sophia's auntie). I didn't find much on the fridge reduced shelves, although I did score some chicken drumsticks for 99p (reduced to more than half price) and a couple of patties which can be frozen, and which Menard can take for his lunch to work.

However, on the fruit and veg table I found tons of apples. I came home with two packs, each of 45p, so a total of 90 pence. One bag was fairly small red apples (unlabelled) and contained about 20 apples! The other was mixed larger apples and had about ten. I'd say that's a score!

I also found a bag with three butternut squashes for 45p and a bag of little carrots for 45p (pretty much everything was 45p!)

This morning I have stewed some apples to put in little pots and freeze - I take one one pot of fruit every day and mix it into Sophia's porridge for breakfast, this gets fruit into her, and cools the porridge down quicker!

I made apple muffins with a recipe I found at All Recipes (and used that particular one cos I had all the ingredients, well sort of. I used all granulated sugar instead of a mix of caster and soft brown, and I didn't have any icing sugar to put on the top). They turned out really nicely, and gave me an excuse to use my new silicone muffin cases which Bekki gave me for Christmas. I used the circles and the stars and they worked brilliantly. Hurrah! My waist line will thank me for not eating them, although I tasted one with Sophia to check how they turned out, so some are going to my friend with a fairly new baby (about 5 weeks old now I think) and some have been frozen and M will take them to work as part of his lunch.

I also cut up lots of apples and froze them, to be turned into stewed apple or apple cake or something at a later date. I have 6 large apples left, but I'm all appled out for the time being. I'll do something with them either later today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile Sophia was having all sorts of fun. Drawing on her leg with biro, eating apples (bites out of multiple apples, thanks darling!), playing with plastic pots out of the 'safe cupboard' in the kitchen, putting washing (and an apple) in and out of the washing machine, etc etc!

I've also cleared up the kitchen and done what felt like endless washing up, we've watched builders out the window (who were coming to sort out the mess they made when they decided to paint the building in the rain) and Sophia's been fascinated by the shadows their ladders made against the window blinds. Oh, and we hoovered the living room to pick up all the bits of apple Sophia had showered it with!

I've probably done some other stuff too, like writing this blog post. But now it's time to stop writing and change a stinky nappy, and shower and exciting things like that, so we can head out to see Lyndsay and baby later on.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

plodding along

Life is plodding along around here. I think I'm finally mostly better from the nasty lurgy that I've been suffering with for over a week. It started with a horrible sore throat, and went on to be a high temperature, dizziness and coughing to name a few things.

Sophia is growing taller and wiser every day. She says so many words now. I can't believe how time has flown.

I've got some photos that I need to upload, so I'll try to do that soon.

Mind's gone blank, so I'll leave it there, but I'll try to be back soon.

(I don't know if I mentioned that if I'm not around here you can trying hunting for me at my other blog, Can Big Change to Beautiful? - link on the sidebar)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

God is Good

A lovely afternoon was spoiled by my purse being stolen :(

I've cancelled all the card and starting fraud proceedings to claim back the money they got on my credit card and debit card. And just been ringing/on-lining to get replacements for all the loyalty cards.

Most frustrated that i was carrying all Sophia's Christmas money (cash) that i was going to pay in to her account, but hadn't yet. Oh and the parking ticket for not moving my car in time (cos i was in the banks getting stuff sorted out)

But, God is good. Sophia and I are safe (they just took the purse from my bag. And my bank caught the cash withdrawal on my credit card super quick and called me right away, so i got them cancelled within maybe an hour of it being taken)

And when i got home the silly car that's been parked in what i consider my spot was gone and my space was free. And the buzzer on my car (when the engine is off and you open the door) told me I'd left my lights on so i could turn them off and not get a flat battery.

And "He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world" - that's a verse I had on a card in my wallet.

And now most of my loyalty cards will now finally in my married name. And I discovered that for one store i actually had two cards, so they're combining them and that's some free money i never knew i had!

And the bank lady was lovely when i cried on her, and so were the ladies in the other bank and....
basically i have so many reasons to be thankful.

God is GOOD!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Winter Cannellini Bean Soup

(as found on the back of the dried cannellini packet. I made it with most of the ingredients in the recipe, just not necessarily with the exact ratios!)

Serves 6-8

1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 Shallots, diced (I used onions)
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
3 Celery sticks, sliced
2 Leeks, sliced
140g Streaky bacon, diced
1 1/2 litres Stock (I used some I'd made as per earlier post)
2 Bay leaves
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Flesh parsley, roughly chopped (I didn't have this)
500g Cannellini beans
Salt and Pepper to taste (I didn't use any)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the shallots, garlic, celery, leeks and bacon. Cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.

2. Pour in the stock, add the bay leaves (I didn't have any!) and oregano and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, add the cannellini beans, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through.

3. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

This soup is yummy. I used less beans and less stock, cos that's what I had, but I think it tastes great. I used dried beans that I'd previously soaked and boiled, but you could use tinned beans instead.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


New year, new resolutions.....
I will blog more!